When I did manage to get through to the Future Pension Service, I was informed that I would need to contact HMRC to obtain the 18 digit reference number. However, it would appear from a previous post, that the customer was provided this number by the Future Pension Service.
Is this a recent change and if so why has this not been clearly communicated in the HMRC/FPS websites? Or as a general update on this forum?
If this is the case then this is an improvement that should save customers having to spend precious time on another call.
HMRC Admin, please clarify whether we can now obtain the 18 digit reference number from the FPS?
Sparx has outlined very clearly how this system should be improved that would make life for 99% of customers so much easier. I also would like to see an answer as to why this cannot be implemented in short order, as would almost everyone on this forum.
HMRC Admin, please provide a response to this request, preferably with a timeline as to when it could be implemented and not just provide the stock response that we have to call the Future Pension Service then HMRC for the 18 digit code.
It would undoubtedly make your lives as well as ours so much easier and bring us all into the 21st century!!
You have to contact the Future Pension Service to determine whether making any voluntary contributions will add to your state pension figure. Not all years do so why you need to speak to them. Assuming you do get through and determine that making a voluntary contribution does add to your pension, you then have to call HMRC, (another department and another long wait on the line), to obtain the 18 digit code. Armed with the code you can then make an online payment.
Alternatively you could use the arcane method of sending a cheque and covering letter, no doubt the letter would need to be written with a quill pen!!
Clearly the system has been designed to frustrate and challenge everyone, and you wonder whether is done on purpose. Although you would have thought that HMRC/Government would be making it as easy as possible for people to make voluntary contributions as it means more money in their coffers.
Good luck, you do have until the end of July to get through.
Well, to my surprise, I did manage to get through to the Future Pension Service at 1 minute past 8 on Monday. I then was on hold with music for about 50 minutes. When I did speak to someone, they were very helpful and informative. Advised me against paying up a partial year 2015/16 as this would not add to my state pension amount. They also advised my wife on the same call, thereby avoiding another call. Very pleased that we spoke to the FPS ahead of making any payments.
All I can say is keep trying to get through as the information provided is useful in deciding whether or not to pay NI voluntary contributions.
You need to contact HMRC to obtain the 18 digit code to pay online. Like many of us, I do not possess a chequebook and I would be reluctant to send a cheque as inevitably there is no traceability until it is cashed and relies on someone applying the payment to the correct year, and we know how that could go!
Same experience as above, tried contacting the Future Pension Service and following several menus, cut off immediately. Numerous attempts over the last week at different times of the day. No joy!!!
Why does this service not have a queueing system?
Additionally, why are we required to provide a totally different number, (NI reference number), when everyone has a unique NI number that can be used to identify individuals. Like most people that have commented above, no one appears to be familiar with the NI reference number. There is a provision to pay online, but this cannot be used because you need a NI Reference number. Instead we are asked to send a cheque and an explanatory letter. Is this efficient?
If we cannot get through to the Future Pension Service to determine whether making voluntary contributions will contribute to our pension, and we are advised to not make a payment until we have spoken to this department, what is the DWP doing to make this process easier?
My fear is that although the deadline has been extended to July 31st, we will be no further forward at that point.